Wednesday, March 23, 2022


Yeah, I know- "it won't happen to my teen" - same thing I said.

BUT IT DID. She took her own life.

 If there’s one thing we should learn from this teen world today – they do things completely unexpected, illogical, non-logical and unanticipated.

 We see more and more and more media reports about teen suicide.  It happens for several reasons – some legitimate, some hyper-inflated.

 But let's talk prevention.

 The most important thing to know is YOU DON’T KNOW!

 YEARS of research says, “there are always signs.” 

And yet, there are MANY reports of teens who have great relationships wit their parents, family, school, good friends, community and on and on – real contributors, etc.

And all of a sudden, they end it.

 This problem will never have a perfect solution – but here’s a starting point:

LISTEN.  Listen, listen, listen, listen!! Stop telling.

 ASK, DON’T TELL – stop telling, sermonizing, correcting, etc.  The split-second you lapse into that tone of voice, your teen zones out.

That’s not what a possibly emotionally illogical person needs!

 Let’s recall: emotions are beyond logic. 

You realized that years ago when you fell in love with the wrong person.

In sales, people buy on emotion, not on logic.

The golden door into a teen will always be LISTENING.

 Stop refuting their logic or their feelings!

Recognize, accept, VALIDATE every feeling they share and then ASK ABOUT IT.


“tell me more”

“tell me about that”

“please tell me what made [makes] you think that]

“help me to better understand”


 ASK, DON’T TELL has been our philosophy for several years and it has drawn out amazing results and information the parent wouldn’t have had if they immediately knee-jerk-reflexed into arguing.

 As adults, as parents we are constantly attempting to tell or teach or instruct our teenagers – EVEN THOUGH they’re at an age when [we hope] they’ve begun to develop a mind of their own.

Let's respect that! Let's listen and listen and listen deeper.

As said previously, listening is the greatest gift you can give.

 After my daughter died, I spent many hours reflecting, wondering, searching.  She was surrounded by loving family and even professional services. 

I am fully aware that this isn’t practically possible, but I came to the belief that the only real solution was to literally hold her hands 24-7.

 To summarize:

·       LISTEN, deeply.

·       Ask gentle, non-invasive follow-up questions.

·       Validate feelings they express even if they make no sense to you or are totally opposite of “the reality” you see.

·       Watch for signs – changes in behavior or patterns.

·       Love them deeply and remind them often.

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